My Homecoming Dress Had Grapes

After sharing three outfits with you, I thought I should break the news to you: I’m not America’s Next Top Model.

I’m not particularly photogenic (although, I’ve noticed that as I’ve become less self-conscious, I am less awkward in front of the camera.) I’m not posting these outfits because I’m such hot shit that everyone should hurry up and dress just like me. Hurry! I’m just learning to stop dressing to hide my body. (As if over-sized t-shirts, solid colors, and vertical stripes might trick someone into thinking I’m really a size 10.)

Nope. The thing is, I’m posting these pictures because for a very long time, I thought that being fat meant wearing whatever I could find that would fit me. This goes far back, beyond my fat years to my relatively average-sized youth. I wore a size 11 during high school–and I will never forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I was taken to buy my first (and only) formal dress and being led toward the world’s most god-awful, lavender two-piece satin thing. With lace. And long sleeves. Long. Sleeves.

It looked something like this:

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Only not even this cute. Mine was purple-er. And it only had lace at the neck and sleeves. Big, fat beige lace with GRAPES. The rest was satin.

What I wanted was Ariel’s off-shoulder number from Footloose. What I got was something even my great-grandmother expressed shock over. It was too old for her, and she was 96. But, someone told me I was too fat for the cute little Footloose dress I wanted. That I had to cover my arms. And I believed it. I could have pulled a Pretty in Pink and done something to make the dress better (nothing could have made it worse). At the very least, taken off those horrible grapes. But at the time I didn’t have the nerve. It would have been taken as a slap in the face to the person who spent time and money getting me that dress from mall.

So, I guess you can say that the OOTDs on this blog are brought to you by my traumatically fashion-backward teenage years.

It turns out, I’m good and finding things and putting them together: for someone else. My resolution for 2013 is to start putting them together for myself. Sure, it’s true that it’s harder to find clothing in a plus size than it is to find clothing in a straight size. But, it’s out there. And if you develop an eye for thrifting and pay attention to sales, it doesn’t even have to be expensive.

There are more important things in live than clothes. Putting together an outfit that makes you feel good isn’t a world-changer, and not being able to find jeans that fit your ass the right way is a first-world problem of the first order. But I still think it’s important to put it out there that it is possible to feel good about yourself, in the body that you have. Not the body you will have after a year on Weight Watchers, or if you’d just get on that elliptical, or if your mother didn’t give you her hips. The body you have. Today.

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